Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Adoptions in MN


ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota leads the country in the number of international adoptions per capita, but tighter regulations have caused those numbers to drop sharply in recent years.

That's left families adrift and forced one of the state's oldest agencies to scale back on the number of adoptions it arranges.

The number of foreign children adopted by Americans has plummeted from 22,991 in 2004 to 9,319 in 2011, according to U.S. State Department statistics. Minnesota has experienced a similar decline. In 2005, the state reported 923 international adoptions. The number has fallen every year since then, reaching a low of 355 adoptions last year.

Read more here.


July 14, 2012 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, July 13, 2012

In-Laws recently published an article about setting boundaries with in-laws, read it here.


July 13, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

3 Parents, 1 Child in CA?

From ABC:

California, the battleground state for the arguments for and against same-sex marriage, is now considering an unconventional law that would allow children to be legally granted more than two parents. 

The bill -- SB1476 -- would apply equally to men and women, and to homosexual or heterosexual relationships. Proposed by State Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, it has passed the Senate and awaits an Assembly vote.

Leno cites the evolving American family, which includes surrogacy arrangements, same-sex marriages and reproductive techniques that involve multiple individuals.

Read more here.


July 12, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Lavendar Law 2012

Lavender Law 2012, Washington, D.C., August 23-25
Invitation and Call for Papers
Junior Scholars Forum
eer Fair takes place all day on Thursday, August 23, 2012.
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
This year the Lavender Law® Conference & Career Fair (Lavender Law®) will be held August 23-25, 2012 at the Washington Hilton in Washington, D.C. Lavender Law brings together the best and brightest legal minds in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.
To celebrate our community of scholars, Lavender Law® is hosting a Junior Scholar’s Forum again this year. If you are a junior law professor, or a recent law school graduate or fellow who is writing scholarship focusing on the nexus between the law, gender, and sexuality, we encourage you to submit a proposal for consideration.
If your proposal is accepted, you will be invited to present your work at the 2012 Lavender Law conference.
To submit a proposal for consideration, please email your submission to:, and cc: Courtney Joslin (
The deadline for submissions is August 1, 2012.


July 11, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Circumcisions in Trouble in Germany

From the Times of Israel:

Parents having their sons circumcised can be brought before a judge for causing bodily injury, even if they did so for religious reasons, a regional court in Germany has ruled.

The recent landmark decision will likely draw the condemnation of Jewish and Muslim communities, although official representatives have refrained from commenting so far, saying they first want to study the reasons given for the judgment.

Following the judgment by the District Court of Cologne, neither the rights of parents nor the constitutional freedom of religion can justify interventions such as circumcision, according to Financial Times Deutschland, which first reported the story.

Read more here.


July 11, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Judith S. Wallerstein

From the New York Times:

Judith S. Wallerstein, a psychologist who touched off a national debate about the consequences of divorce by reporting that it hurt children more than previously thought, with the pain continuing well into adulthood, died on Monday [June 18] in Piedmont, Calif. She was 90.


In 1971, Ms. Wallerstein began studying 131 children from 60 divorced families in Marin County, Calif. She followed them for 25 years, conducting intensive interviews every five years.

Not unexpectedly, many of the children were extremely distressed soon after the divorce. But she was surprised to find that the problems often lasted; 10 and 15 years later, half the children were still suffering and, she wrote, had become “worried, underachieving, self-deprecating and sometimes angry young men and women.”

Read more here.


July 10, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Zimmerman & Post: "The Revolving Doors of Family Court: Confronting Broken Adoptions"

Brian Zimmerman and I are pleased to announce the recent publication of our law review article through Capital University Law Review.  It is entitled The Revolving Doors of Family Court:  Confronting Broken Adoptions and is available at 40 Cap. U.L. Rev. 437. 

The N.Y.C. family court is made up of many stakeholders from the legal and child welfare communities.  Undeniably, all stakeholders approach this work with the best of intentions to achieve positive outcomes for the children who come through the doors of family court.  Moving children to permanency, whether through return to a parent or through an adoption, is an important goal.  Our article arose from our daily work in the trenches which suggested to us, that while many adoptions are successful, there are many children, the exact number of which is unknown,  returning through the revolving doors of family court as a result of broken adoptions.  During the last few years, city wide discussions have properly centered on correcting inefficiencies in the adoption process, and we are not suggesting that efforts and discussion toward that end should not occur.  To the contrary, we believe that focusing on the issues identified in this article will prompt discussions that will help improve the long term outcomes for children who are adopted and to continually evaluate the efficacy of that goal on a case by case basis.  For it is the shared responsibility of the many service providers and disciplines involved in these children and teenager’s lives, both pre- and post-adoption, to acknowledge the large number of children and teenagers who are returned to the system through the revolving doors of family court, as well as their each parties’ role contributing to children returning.  Only then can a commitment be made to modify or eliminate the conditions which lead to the broken adoptions.

We are sending the cite to this article to you as you have a particular interest in and have made various contributions to the field of child welfare, advocacy and policy.

We hope you enjoy reading the article and look forward to engaging in future discussions in this area to work toward finding a solution to limit the revolving doors of family court.  Please let us know if you would like further information or would like to meet about this subject.


Dawn J. Post, Esq.                                            Brian Zimmerman, Esq.

Co-Borough Director                                         Kings County Assigned Counsel Panel

The Children’s Law Center                                44 Court St., Suite 905

44 Court St., 11th Floor                                     Brooklyn, NY 11201

Brooklyn, NY 11201                                         (718) 855-0413

(718) 522-3333 x146                              


July 9, 2012 in Scholarship, Family Law | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Big Age Gaps between Generations

From the Washington Post:

When my 79-year-old father had two back surgeries a couple of years ago, I saw him in a hospital gown for the first time. As his closest family member — my mother died of cancer in 2006 — I gave my dad rides to the doctor and the grocery store. I helped him clean out his house and move into a smaller, stairless apartment. I watched him struggle at physical therapy. He has fully recovered, but the process aged him. Now I move a little slower when we walk down the street together. When he runs 20 minutes late, my imagination runs wild: Has he fallen or gotten into a car accident? Has he forgotten about our appointment? Oh, God, does he have Alzheimer’s? My father continually reminds me that he can fend for himself, but his protestations fail to dismantle the layer of worry that has set up camp in my brain. The parent-child roles have begun to reverse, like they have for so many baby boomers caring for their aging parents.

Except I’m not a baby boomer. I’m 27.

Read more here.


Hat Tip: Naomi Cahn

July 8, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)